Segments in this Video

Introduction: Silicon Savants (02:27)


Jackson, Stephen, and Simon hope to raise one million dollars in one day. Young people without degrees flock to Silicon Valley. College students travel to the University of California Berkeley to participate in a hackathon. (Credits)

Cal Hacks (03:28)

Corporations use hackathons as a recruitment tool and discover talent. Computer science classes tend to become quickly outdated because of emerging technologies. James is almost denied entrance because he is still in high school.

Project Brainstorm (03:07)

James, a high school student, teams up with two other participants. They decide to create an app to submit votes using a mobile phone.

Tech Bubble (04:16)

Jackson and Stephen prepare to pitch to venture capitalists. Wealthcoin allows people to invest in stocks and bonds using Bitcoin. Accelerators like Boost VC nurtures new startups in exchange for a stake in the company.

High School Education (03:19)

Jackson describes his childhood and working as a freelance web designer. The current school system does not encourage people to succeed but meet the same standards.

Saturday Hackathon (03:58)

James and his team work on their app to allow people to use mobile phones to vote. Students take naps to refresh themselves. Lisa Ling examines the projects; James wants to obtain a college degree.

Preparation for Demo Day (03:21)

Wealthcoin rehearses a three-minute pitch for venture capitalists. Twenty other teams will also be speaking. Many experts believe the tech bubble will burst.

Make School (04:50)

In San Francisco, this two-year alternative program for hackers helps individuals learn how to build apps. Students pay tuition through their earnings. One app offers expert advice in different fields.

Sunday Hackathon (01:50)

James has not completed the project and seeks advice from a mentor. Teams must clean their space and present their app to judges.

Venture Capitalist Presentation (04:05)

Boost VC holds demo day. Pierre Wolf explains that one needs to be lucky in order to succeed. Simon pitches Wealthcoin.

Hackathon Conclusion (03:38)

Only half of the teams complete the weekend. The judge asks James about issues with voter fraud. Other projects include connecting Syrian refugees with aid, a bicycle video game, and a mind-controlled golf cart.

Hackathon Winners (03:32)

Judges announce the winners. James applies to 14 schools including George Washington, Stanford, and UC Berkeley. Jackson leaves Wealthcoin after the Boost VC program ends. (Credits)

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Silicon Savants

Part of the Series : This Is Life with Lisa Ling
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Lisa Ling meets ambitious young people in San Francisco hoping to become the next Mark Zuckerberg.

Length: 43 minutes

Item#: BVL187390

ISBN: 978-1-64623-287-1

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.